Sometimes people do need reminding that the world does not revolve around Goulburn.
Deputy Mayor Peter Walker made the comment at a recent council meeting in response to Cr Margaret O’Neill’s move to redirect heritage grant funding to Goulburn, not Marulan as staff had recommended.
Some councillors do appreciate that we have thriving towns and villages in the LGA that also need support with infrastructure and services. Rural people care so much that they turn up in reasonable numbers to council outreach meetings. Contrast this with Goulburn’s recent outreach meeting which no one attended, despite pre-publicity.
Perhaps we just take things for granted a little too much in Goulburn. But while we’re growing, so too is Marulan where a $4 million commercial hub comprising an IGA supermarket and seven retail spaces are being planned.
It’s responding to not just the large number of ‘lifestylers’ moving in but also projected growth. Goulburn Mulwaree’s Housing Strategy predicts that Marulan’s population of 685 in 2016 will increase to 785 by 2021, 995 by 3031 and 1195 in 2036. While there’s enough land to meet housing demand in the next five years, in the ensuing 15 years, it’s estimated 500 lots will be required in the town.
Quarries are also expanding in the area, with two significantly increasing the number of truck movements.
This all brings pressure to bear on roads and other infrastructure. It’s not as though the council is blind to this. It has increased rural road funding in its budgets over the past few years. Quarries are also stumping up more in section 94 contributions and some work, notably Brayton Road and Jerrara Road’s resealing, are being brought forward.
But more grant funding wouldn’t go astray either. Goulburn is enjoying a purple patch with state and federal funding but our villages and towns aren’t so fortunate. As much as they also use Goulburn’s services, they also need a healthy slice, not just the odd toilet block.
More importantly, as Marulan and District Chamber of Commerce vice-president David Humphreys points out, highway access to the town must be opened. The lack of a southern access not only increases heavy vehicle numbers in the main street, it severely hurts tourism.
Sometimes it pays to look beyond our backyard.
While you're with us…
Did you know The Goulburn Post is now offering breaking news alerts and a weekly email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news: sign up here.